The Future of Infrared
Over the years, infrared has been incorporated into technology to make our day-to-day lives that bit easier. From the simple remote control to advanced night-vision goggles, infrared radiation has helped us to achieve new heights in various different fields. Since its discovery in the year 1800, this type of electromagnetic radiation has become more and more useful to us.
As technology advances, different industries are finding new uses for infrared, showing that this technology shows no signs of slowing down. Here are our predictions about the different uses that infrared might have in the future.
There are various industries that currently use infrared technology to their advantage. Astronomers use it to map galaxies far out of reach of the human eye; massage therapists use it to warm the skin and directly relax the muscles; it can be used in the transmission of data between devices.
But infrared technology has the potential to benefit industries that don’t directly use it in their work. As the UK government clamps down on businesses to become more eco-friendly, business owners are looking for affordable ways to make their offices and warehouses greener.
Infrared heaters have the benefit of heating spaces faster than traditional convection systems, with smart-controls that allow businesses to moderate both their energy consumption and their costs.
Infrared isn’t new to the telecommunications industry. In fact, mobile-phone manufacturers used to install infrared panels into devices to allow users to send small files at close range to other devices. As the focus shifted towards cellular networks and, in more recent years, the internet, mobile-phone manufacturers began to remove the infrared feature from their devices.
However, US brand SureFire is trialling a new technology called ‘ARON’ – which stands for augmented-reality optical narrowcasing. Although this sounds complicated, it means that people might soon be able to send messages via infrared light-waves rather than via text messages or the internet: it’s a new way to communicate altogether.
Infrared has been a key part in thermal imaging technology, which has mainly been used to help the police (as a way of detecting fugitives from helicopters) and the military. But an unlikely way that thermal infrared imaging can be used is to make the world a safer place.
Airport operatives already use thermal imaging cameras to find cracks in the fuselage of aeroplanes (which is caused by water turning to ice at high altitudes), but more recently this technology has been trialled as a way of detecting forest fires, allowing firefighters to identify a fire before it becomes too large to manage.
Infrared is already playing a large role in medical science, with doctors using infrared thermal imaging cameras to detect abnormal body temperatures within patients. Because abnormal body temperature can be an indicator of poor health, infrared has proved to be incredibly useful to the medical field, but what purpose might it serve in the future?
Medical professionals currently use gamma rays (a stronger form of electromagnetic radiation) to eliminate cancerous cells; however, the intense nature of this radiation has the potential to also damage healthy cells in the process. Doctors are currently working on ways to use infrared to target these cells instead of the stronger gamma ray. If successful, this will change the way the medical industry tackles cellular diseases.
The Potential of Infrared
Technology is continually changing and, as it does, infrared changes with it, with new uses regularly being found to develop new products and services that make life easier. If you want to get your hands on an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution to heating your home, take a look at our stylish infrared heating panels.